I felt the mattress shift as Bruce got out of bed. Nap time can’t be over yet. I rolled over and heard his voice.

“I am so blessed.”

I opened my eyes and replied, “Why.”

He reached for his Squad 41 polo shirt, “I’m married to Miss Ann.”

I chuckled, grabbed the edge of the sheet and sat up. “Some people wouldn’t consider that a perk.”

He smiled and continued, “We have two great kids.”

“That’s true.” 

He sat on the edge of the bed to put his shoes on, “We got the trailer. We had a great summer.”

“Yes, we did.” After years of tent and pop-up camping, the trailer was a welcome step up. The weeks of summer flew by with a trip to Indianapolis, volunteering at kid’s camp, and attending family camp allowing for plenty of family time. The girls volunteering for an extra week after teen camp gave Bruce and I a sense of just us time. A taste of what the future would be like. 

He gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and left for the firehouse. He was working a 24 – Sunday night to Monday night and then making up a tour on Tuesday. Spending Monday night at the firehouse was the plan as it meant less driving and why come home to sleep and then head back in. 

Bruce called on Monday night, but I don’t remember that conversation. I remember so vividly our conversation as he got dressed. I, too, could echo his words “I am so blessed.

”Excerpt from No Surprises: navigating tragedy with faith, family and the FDNY